Alaska Airlines Will Ground Boeing 737 Max 9 Fleet for Inspections After Section of Plane Blew Out Mid-Flight

The aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing after part of the plane blew out mid-air.

Lowell Sannes / Getty Images

Commercial Aviation, Flying in Alaska on a cold day

Alaska Airlines is doing damage control to make up for a recent emergency on one of their aircraft.

On Friday night, an Alaska Airlines flight going from Portland International Airport to Ontario, California was forced to land at its PDX origin after a section of the plane blew out mid-air. Although there were no serious injuries due to passengers not being seated near the impacted vicinity, Alaska Airlines followed up with a statement regarding the incident, which one person posted on TikTok. A child who sat near the damaged area of the plant lost his shirt amid the "violent and sudden depressurization."

Flight 1282 and our next steps with the Boeing MAX-9:

— Alaska Airlines (@AlaskaAir) January 6, 2024
Twitter: @AlaskaAir

Giving a statement shortly after the event was Ben Minicucci, CEO of Alaska Airlines.

"At Alaska Airlines, safety is our foundational value and the most important thing we make our focus every day. Following tonight's event on Flight 1282, we have decided to take a precautionary step of temporarily grounding our fleet of 65 Boeing MAX-9 aircraft," the statement reads. "Each aircraft will be returned to service only after completion of full maintenance and safety inspections."

He continued, "We anticipate all inspections will be completed in the next few days. I am personally committed to doing everything we can to conduct this review in a timely and transparent way."


Girls’ trip turned into emergency landing trip… #alaska #alaskaair

♬ original sound - vy 🍓

"We are working with Boeing and regulators to understand what occurred tonight, and will share updates as more information is available," Minicucci continued. "The NTSB is investigating this event and we will fully support their investigation."

"My heart goes out to those who were on the flight–I am so sorry for what you experienced. I am so grateful for the response of our pilots and flight attendants. We have teams on the ground in Portland assisting passengers and are working to support guests who are traveling in the days ahead."

As the incident began to go viral on Friday night, Alaska Airlines gave brief updates on X, revealing that they were aware of the aircraft's damage and that the plane landed safely back at PDX, with 171 guests and six crew members on board.

We are aware of an incident involving Alaska Airlines Flight #AS1282. We will share more information as it becomes available.

— Alaska Airlines (@AlaskaAir) January 6, 2024
Twitter: @AlaskaAir

AS1282 from Portland to Ontario, CA experienced an incident this evening soon after departure. The aircraft landed safely back at Portland International Airport with 171 guests and 6 crew members. We are investigating what happened and will share more as it becomes available.

— Alaska Airlines (@AlaskaAir) January 6, 2024
Twitter: @AlaskaAir

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